The first Sergio Mendes LP bears few of the soft pop hallmarks of his subsequent Brasil '66 classics. Instead, Dance Moderno is a focused and straight-ahead collection of bossa nova grooves firmly in debt to the acknowledged master of the form, Antonio Carlos Jobim. Paired with a small, tight supporting unit, Mendes proves himself an inventive and intense pianist, shaped by both traditional Latin music and American jazz.
At long last, Sergio Mendes seemed to be getting a bit weary of the constant chore of chasing hits in the North American pop field, and the siren call of his native Brazil beckoned. So while the overall sound of Arara remains mostly stuck in Mendes' '80s dance-pop manner, the material is all Brazilian and the CD is sometimes open to more complex rhythms than what Mendes had been using since the mid-'70s. In other words, this is not far away from the concept that The Manhattan Transfer tried on its Brasil album, but not nearly as bold nor as moving.
Marcus Miller, bassist, multi-instrumentalist, composer & arranger, likes unusual collaborations, and this new album “A Night in Monte-Carlo” is another different departure : paying with a septet, including a DJ on turntables, plus a 48-piece orchestra, the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, including an 18-piece string section.